Cooking

Pesto alla rucola

Welcome back, dear Raffies!

The wind is howling and the weather reminds me more of autumn than summer. Deep inside my heart is aching to move back South..let’s see what can be arranged.. 😀

For now, we are looking for lunch ideas. With all the rain the garden looks like a jungle, with weeds growing everywhere. There is one type of weed in particular that categorically refused to grow in the pot, where I planted it and decides to grow in the cracks of the pavement instead: rucola. You might know it as arugula or rocket, but to be it always has and always will be rucola. Ever since I was a littl girl, I have loved this herb. Back in Italy, where I grew up, it used to grow wild in the fields and my friends and I would eat it just like that. My mom would often put it in salads or sandwiches…there are countless ways of using rucola.

So there I was wondering as to why my rucola would not grow in the pot, when the idea for lunch struck me: Pesto alla rucola!

Pesto alla rucola!

I had discovered it years back, when I was still at university and I was experimenting as much as I could. It was way back when I was an eager follower of this new blog called Giallafferano, where this self-made cook, Sonia, used to show you how to make intricate Italian dishes in an easy and mouth watering way. I learned a lot about Italian cuisine and cooking from this blog and it was there I found the recipe for Pesto alla Rucola.

Let’s strart from the beginning. Pesto is a word you probably have heard before. You are probably associating it with the famous and traditional Pesto alla Genovese -the one with basil. Well, the word on its own, means „mashed“. The term refers mostly to sauces that have been ground in a mortar. It can contain a huge variety of ingredients. I will be introducing you to the most commonly known ones in Italy.

This is a great sauce for pasta or even for meat. The finished pesto can be kept in the fridge for a couple of days. Otherwise you can freeze it and use it later on. If you use wild growing rucola, the flavour will be stronger than the store bought one. I personally prefer the wild rucola 😉

100 g rucola

50 g grated Parmigiano reggiano

50 g grated Pecorino romano

150 ml olive oil

1 clove of garlic, crushed

50 g pine nuts

salt

pepper

Wash the rucola thoroughly and drain well. Mix all the ingredients together in a mortar and crush. If you want to be able to use your arms afterwards, you can use a mixer, blender or food processor.

Serve on top of pasta. Do not cook the pesto! The result would be a swampy flavour.

See you next time!

Love,

Raffi

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